Cole Hamels spelled it out clear so that there would be no mistake: He hit Bryce Harper on purpose.
In what turned out to be one of the more honest interview sessions from a pitcher, Cole Hamels fully admitted his intent on going after the 19-year old phenom from the Washington Nationals.
“I was trying to hit him. I’m not going to deny it,” said Hamels.
In order to avoid fines or suspensions, Major League pitchers usually have a tendency to dance around topics like intentionally throwing at batters, however Hamels stated that he actually wanted to send a message to the 1st rounder that is currently hitting .308 with a .424 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has released Hamels full explanation, with the Philadelphia pitcher stating that:
“I was trying to hit him. I’m not going to deny it. It’s something I grew up watching. That’s what happened. I’m just trying to continue the old baseball. Some people get away from it. I remember when I was a rookie, the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything. That’s the way baseball is. Sometimes the league is protecting certain players. It’s that old-school prestigious way of baseball.
“I’m not going to injure a guy. They’re probably not going to like me for it but I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t trying to do it. I think they understood the message and they threw it right back. That’s the way, and I respect it. They can say whatever they want.”
As far as Harper’s response to Hamels full admission, he took it just as any rookie should, saying “He’s a great guy, great pitcher, knows how to pitch. He’s an all-star. It’s all good.”
Hamel’s Philadelphia Phillies and Harper’s Washington Nationals are set to meet again on May 21st in Philadelphia for what has a chance to be a series full of plunked batters and bench clearing brawls. However, I am sure that Major League Baseball will take the necessary preventative measures to ensure that does not happen.